Thursday, April 12, 2007


There is a war going on here in Oriental Negros! The warriors are not soldiers in snappy uniforms. They are lawyers, doctors, students and everyday businessmen. They do not do it for medals or even for money. Their motto is “Service Above Self” and they live that motto everyday. They do not shoot people with guns. They vaccinate children and heal the sick.

Sunday, I went with Dumaguete City Rotarians (North City Chapter & Central Chapter) to a beautiful little village high in the verdant mountains above Sibulan. There along with nursing students from St. Paul’s College, doctors from Silliman Medical Center and Medical Technology students from Silliman University they waged war against disease, pain and suffering. The patients are men, women and children from the village, many of whom had never seen a doctor in their life. All the services of the team were free.

The volunteers come from many nations. These are Americans, Australians, British and of course many Filipinos. Wives tirelessly work shoulder to shoulder with their husbands. It is truly a labor of love and compassion. These Medical and Dental Civacs are paid for by donations, often coming out of the pockets of the volunteers themselves. Currently they only do four a year. They would like to do more but medicine is expensive.

First the doctors and student nurses give each patient a full medical exam. Based on that exam the patient is taken to a treatment area. Sometimes the enemy is an intestinal parasite that can cripple and even kill. Sometimes it is just a simple infected tooth. Regardless of the enemy, the Civac team is ready. While the conditions are primitive; the service is very professional.

Thanks guys and gals. I enjoyed your work. This week I have a whole platoon of everyday heroes.

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